Study due on health impact of Md. gas drilling

FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — University of Maryland researchers are releasing a report on the potential public health impact of shale gas drilling in the state's far western counties.

Dr. Clifford Mitchell, environmental health director with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is making a presentation on the report Monday in Frostburg to a state commission charged with recommending safe drilling practices.

The department announced the study last September. It aims to assess the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on water and air quality, noise and public safety if gas drilling is allowed in Garrett and far western Allegany counties.

The report will be subject to a 30-day public comment period.

It comes as the safe-drilling commission nears completion of its work, with a final report expected this fall.

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